Fox School offers new corporate social responsibility minor

Students this fall can register for the Fox School of Business’ new corporate social responsibility minor, which requires students take courses in the human resource management, business administration and legal studies departments.

Starting this Fall, the Fox School of Business will, for the first time, offer a minor in corporate social responsibility. The minor will highlight the modern connections between businesses and social responsibility, and is open to all Temple students.

Additionally, the courses included in this minor will draw on a wide range of disciplines, from economics to landscape architecture.

Sandra McDade, director of the Office of Sustainability and a leader in the University’s Sustainability Academic Curricula Committee, said in an e-mail that Fox “recognizes that all disciplines have a responsibility to educate its students on why and how we need to abide by sustainable principles,” and students who complete this minor will have a “competitive edge in the business world.”

The corporate social responsibility minor will consist of six courses – three required and three elective.

The required courses fall into the departments of human resource management, business administration and legal studies. The three electives are chosen from eight possible courses, four of which were developed specifically for the minor.

The process of creating the new minor began about two years ago, Lynne Andersson, associate professor of human resource management, said.

In 2008, Andersson was approached by Benjamin Schneible, who at the time, served as the president of Students for Responsible Business, an organization whose mission, according to its website, is to, “improve the world by growing and strengthening a network of leaders who use the power of business to make a positive net social, environmental, and economic impact.”

Andersson said that Schneible expressed that there was a desire among some of the Fox students for a minor in corporate social responsibility, saying that some felt there were limited options at Temple to study that topic. Andersson agreed.

“There is always a handful of students, maybe 20 or 30 out of 400, who feel like they’ve discovered God and want to know more, to take their studies further,” said Andersson, “only they’ve never been able to.”

Andersson took the idea for an undergraduate minor to Fox’s Assistant Dean Deborah Campbell, who liked the idea. Coincidentally, in 2008, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart signed onto the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment.

The goal of the ACUPCC, according to its website, is “to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations, and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.”

Since signing the climate commitment, Temple has been working to reduce its carbon footprint and add sustainability education to its curriculum, which made the idea for a corporate social responsibility minor so appealing.

At the time, there were a few universities that had graduate programs in corporate responsibility, but Andersson said the new minor is one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind.

The capstone for the course will be 120 hours of community service spent working in the Philadelphia area, which is the largest sustainable business network in the nation. Students will get hand-on experience with community-based firms helping to expand the sustainable business network in Philadelphia.

Andersson said the students who should declare this minor think about the larger role of business.

“For some, business is about the bottom line, and that’s it,” Andersson said, adding that for some students, there is more to the bottom line than profits.

Michael Polinsky can be reached at

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